Dearly Departed Tours gives you the raw details of Hollywood's ugly secrets, tragic deaths, and embarrassing moments. ... More
Dearly Departed Tours
Dearly Departed Tours gives you the raw details of Hollywood's ugly secrets, tragic deaths, and embarrassing moments. Tour operator Scott Michaels takes tourists on his 13-seater van and covers around 100 sites, including the Tate-Polanski murder location, the Happy Days house, and Sinatra's last gasp site. Tours last for a little over three hours and the charges are moderate.
I gotta tell you, this is one of those 'bang for the buck' tours. We really had a great time and Scott knows the who-what's-where's-and whens! I like that you can ask questions and Scott knows the answers and if he doesn't, he'll tell you so. Also, you get a binder with additional photos and info while taking the tour so you get to see more. Although some points of interest had nothing to do with death, it was fun to see other movie locations (like Grease!) since we were passing them anyway. I recommend this tour!
I have been on the DDT tours 3 times and 2 times on HST both given by Scott Michaels. He is an excellent tour guide that knows his history of Hollywood and of the Manson Family. I recommend Scott's tours to friends from out of town. His tours are so much better than the others. Scott knows his stuff and who lives where. California is lucky to have him as an resident here. You get your money's worth on Scott's tours.
In the interest of full disclosure, I've known Scott for many years, long before he launched Dearly Departed Tours. Even if I didn't know him, I would still give his tour my highest recommendation, for several reasons.
First, Scott knows his stuff. Death history is his passion and his tour reflects his years of research and previous touring experience. Second, he's professional with just the right mix of reverence and humor that brings a sense of humanity to this sometimes sensitive, very niche subject.
Last but certainly not least, I've been taking his tours since he first launched the business, each time bringing a guest with me. Every person who came with knew something about the entertainment world but little about the death aspect. They all walked away expressing that they had fun and learned something of interest and value; they gained a new respect and level of insight into and awareness of the people and places Scott has chosen to remember and share with his clients.
Other reviews here have already covered many of the specifics of the tour. I'm here to attest to the visceral experience of the tour. It's entertaining and enlightening. And, not a bad seat in the van, with easy access to photographing the places you see. I've taken hundreds of shots, all came out gorgeous.
You won't take a better tour in Hollywood or the greater Los Angeles area than Scott's. Worth every penny and then some. Plus, he a safe, great driver. That's worth a lot, too, on the streets of this town.
The Dearly Departed Tours never disappoint, but the Halloween Horror Movie Locations tour was an even bigger treat than previous tours. So big in its scope it took two tour guides (Scott himself and the equally entertaining Brian Donnelly) to present it. In addition to the usual DDT features of showing clips from the films as you approach the actual filming locations, this specialty tour included stops at several Halloween filming locations (both from the 1978 John Carpenter original, as well as the Rob Zombie remake) where tour customers could pose for pictures at the locations with Michael Myers (Scott in costume as the film's serial killer) recreating the film's scenes 30 years after they were shot here. Other films included on the tour were Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Nightmare on Elm Street and Michael Jackson's Thriller presented in its entirety. Tours of Lake Hollywood and the Sierra Madre Pioneer Cemetery (featured in both Halloween and Alfred Hitchcock's final film, 1976's Family Plot) took this tour to a whole new level, and covered far more ground geographically than any previous tour from this or any other tour company. Scott Michaels is never one to sit on his laurels and leave his excellent tour as it is. He is constantly coming up with new ways to thrill and excite, as well as educate his grateful clientele. I am always amazed at the new ideas he continually comes up with. This one certainly stands up well against his other great tours, which include the original Dearly Departed Tour, the Movieland Locations Tour and the Helter Skelter Tour. You can't go wrong with any of them.
For anyone who has already seen all the tourist sites of Hollywood, for anyone interested in the real stories behind the celebrity stories, for anyone interested in true crime and drama, for anyone interested in old Hollywood and Hollywood history -- heck, for ANYONE -- this is a fantastic, educational, unique tour. And it's a heck of a lot of fun, too.
In Hollywood, Scott Michaels truly knows where the bodies are buried -- and how they got there. His tour takes you to the scenes of famous and infamous sites of death, murder and scandal. In addition to his commentary, the tour also includes photos, video and audio to make the locations "come alive."
And Scott really "digs up" (OK, I'll stop with the puns) the correct information. He doesn't rely on legend or oft-repeated stories. He does the research, finds the documentation and photos, and tells you what REALLY happened. He's exactly what you want in a tour guide -- knowledgeable and entertaining, and he knows how to tell a story.
Even if you're a life-time resident of Hollywood, this tour is guaranteed to teach you things you never knew.
richard was very negative about everything and spoke alot about how bad people that are with the church of scientology are crazy. he also spoke about restrauant grades. who cares we were there to see murder sites,thi tour covered nothing of interest and it would have been alittle better with a happy guide also we are scientologist
We took the Dearly Departed tour on Monday, August 17th, with Richard, the most bitter, smug man in all of Los Angeles. He spent excessive time showing us totally irrelevant celebrities' (Sly Stallone's MOM's house? Gunther from Friends? The girl from Little House on the Prairie's MOM's house? WHO CARES ABOUT THESE PEOPLE and where they live???) homes. When he actually got to some macabre L.A. story---i.e. what we came on this tour for---he merely touched on the stories. There was no mention of the Wonderland murders, but we did find out where Adam Sandler's mom's condo was. When he mentioned celebrities, Richard referred to them and their lives with utter contempt. We all were sure he had tried to be a director or actor and failed, and so now spent his time giving shitty tours where he could badmouth those who had succeeded. Particularly offensive was how he suggested certain individuals deserved to be murdered given "they were rappers and all".
Do not take this tour. You're better off printing out a wikipedia page about the murders/stories your'e interested in and trying to find them yourself. You'll learn more about it anyway. Unless you have a fascination with seeing where Gunther from Friends lives.
Also--the van was about 95 degrees. A/C? Not much.
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